Thursday, 3 February 2011
On board Banque Populaire V. Image copyright BPCE.
by Brian Thompson
Still at the station waiting for the SE express train to pull in. Looks like it will be arriving tonight, though there are two different timetables on display, the European timetable is showing a direct service, and the US timetable is showing major engineering works and we could be taking the bus at times.
So the low is finally coming to us, but the 2 major weather models have widely divergent views on what is going to happen. Fingers crossed the European model is correct.
Otherwise its delightful sailing, no water on deck, now warm instead of hot. Still big gennaker and full mainsail. We have done several gybes each day, and all have gone like clockwork. Moved sails back and forward as the wind increased and dropped,and hoisted and lowered the staysail several times. Spending most of the time fine tuning the precise shape of the gennaker and the position of the main traveller and mainsheet.
Saw a green flash at sunset then another at sunrise, which I think is a first for me. A green flash (rayon vert on board) is when the top 5 percent of the sun turns green when only that piece is above the horizon. So the sun turns from yellow to a dayglow green just for a second. Its caused by that very low sun shining though thousands of miles of atmosphere and the rest of the light spectrum being absorbed, leaving just the green. It can only happen when the visibility is really good and there are no clouds on the horizon where the sun is sinking, or rising..
The one in the morning was really distinct, and I was filming it on video, so hope it came out. Thierry and Yvon saw it as well, so I am not making it up, and not been at sea too long..
Looking forward to leaving the South American coastline and heading for Africa!
The train has finally pulled out of the station, after we have been waiting around on the platform for 3 days!
We are now feeling the effects of a small low pressure and For the first time since the equator we have have wind of over 20 knots and we are making the most of it, sitting at a steady 30plus knots of speed in relatively flqat seas. The sky is now cloudy, and it is starting to cool down outside as we rocket down through the 30s in latitude..
Whether this particular train is going all the way to the Cape of Good Hope, remains to be seen. The weather models still widely divergent even in a short time scale (something unlikely in the North Atlantic), so all we can do now is hang on and enjoy the ride..
Banque Populaire V